Module 9: Operational Level Planning

The aim of module 9 is to prepare course participants to contribute to NATO’s operational level planning process, either as an operational level or as a functional area planner, while serving within a joint operational level headquarters, applying the principles of the Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD) to investigate components of Operational Planning Process.

The main topic and method of this module is Operational Level Planning based on the NATO Comprehensive Operations Planning Document, including Comprehensive Preparation of Operational Environment, Centre of Gravity analysis and Operational Design, War Gaming, and Course of Action development.

This module develops the basic knowledge and skills for planning at the operational level within the context of joint operations. A series of lectures and discussions will be used to review each of the operational planning process phases focussing on the Operational Estimate. This will lead to a wider discussion on the Centre of Gravity, Operational Design, and the development of Courses of Actions. This knowledge will be applied within the practical activities during which students will form JOPGs to develop operational designs and courses of actions for joint operations.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, students should be able to:

  1. Distinguish the main characteristics and phases of NATO’s operational level planning process;
  2. Examine strategic level documentation that facilitates operational level planning;
  3. Explain the concept of the centre of gravity (COG) and its relationship to the other elements of operational design.
  4. Apply operational planning methods, particularly war gaming and Course of Action Comparison, in order to design and compare the course of actions.
  5. Analyse the elements of operational design.
Assessment method Assessment
The Assessment consists of: individual contribution to group work and presentations and written exam Summative (graded from 0-10)
Credits: 4.5 ECTS  

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